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Trust no one - all evidence to the contrary


Steven

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My father used to say, "You are the luckiest SOB I have ever known." An objective review of my life confirms his observation. And yet, my basic aspy nature is not to trust - regardless of how things are going. I am wondering if any of you have similar feelings. I have trouble letting go of control and collaborating with others. I used to do everything myself, because I didn't trust others (not even God) to do things up to my standards and attention to detail. I have spoken with others who have felt the same way. In the last few years, I have forced myself to collaborate with other teachers, my students and their families. It's hard for me to admit, but the results have been better than if I had done everything myself albeit different from what I had originally conceived. I am now a big advocate of collaborative endeavors. Nevertheless, my aspergers prevents me from trusting the future, and trusting that people won't see, understand or value my need for order and routine. Do you ever feel like your view of the world is invisible to the NT people in your life? 

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Daniel Paloutzian

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Of course we need to have collaborative endeavors.  To exist (at least in the working, corporate world) requires this.  But I agree that there is a distrust about others being able to understand from an Aspy perspective.  Personally, I don't know if I should mention to co-workers about my having autism/aspergers -- my view is that they will see this as a detriment and automatically give me a "negative" label.   Any tools, ideas?  they would be much appreciated. 

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Daniel,

Thanks so much for getting in touch. If you feel there might be a negative stigma connected to letting anyone in your life know you're an aspy, I would play it safe. Now, if your place of work conducts a mental health sensitivity training and assures everyone who feels comfortable to be open about it, you might reconsider. I am sure I shocked many of my fellow educators when I was open about having asperger's syndrome. Some advised me not to speak too openly for fear that others might not understand. I certainly didn't say anything to my students. Many people said something like, "Oh, well that explains what the rest of us perceived as your artistic temperament." Others spoke of someone they knew among their friends or family with something similar. Special Ed teachers felt like it helped me better connect with their special needs students. 

Partially, I did it because I wanted people to realize that mental health issues need be out in the open. I also had the advantage of being held in high esteem as a music teacher, thus proving that having asperger's syndrome was not a detriment (and possibly an enhancement) to my success as a teacher. Still being successful working closely with others took a lot of coping skills and adapted behaviours. I made it a game. I looked at collaborating with people to be a puzzle that I had to solve. I adjusted my behaviours to be successful and in control of my working life. 

However, I went home everyday exhausted. All the successes meant that I had won the game for that moment and the next day I would have to start again. I took heart in that I was being of service to others, but at the end of the day I am still an aspy. Life is not fair so one just deals with it. Asperger's syndrome is not some condition that can be cured. It's just who we are. We're precious and talented and smart and challenged and deserving of respect like everyone. The one thing that has been missing in my life, is communicating with other aspies and just sharing our unique perspectives and experiences. Please stay in touch.

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